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Ka

by Dan Efran profile

Afterlife
2010

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Number of Reviews: 4
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A mood piece, really, December 7, 2015
by Sobol (Russia)
Ka is a puzzle game; as the other reviewers pointed out, its overall aesthetics are quite close to some works by Andrew Plotkin.

And the puzzles are good. The last one felt particularly satisfying: "Oh my, a riddle. What the answer could be? Is it some common and well-known thing? Something specific to Ancient Egypt?.." - and then it dawned on me. (Spoiler - click to show)Kudos to the monster for not eating me up after the first wrong guess - like the Greek Sphinx used to do.

But the best thing about playing Ka is not the puzzle-solving, but the mood - and in this aspect, I think, it sometimes even out-Plotkins Plotkin. The familiar feeling of solemn loneliness, being surrounded by indifferent mechanisms, the calm and melancholy dream-like atmosphere - are mixed with a strong sense of transition, of leaving everything behind, untying all the bonds, abandoning your past and your earthly possessions which don't matter anymore; standing on a threshold of some new spiritual life.

We don't get to see this new life of the protagonist: that's left to our imagination. But we get a wonderful finale, in which, for one move only, the soul gets to interact with non-mechanical characters - and is no more alone. A short glimpse of divinity; making it longer would have marred the experience.

There are many interesting details along the way. The rhymed sestains are well-written and in the general vein of spells from the real Egyptian funerary texts; and typing >WEST in this game always feels special because of the symbolic significance of the West in Egyptian religion.